Tuesday, President Obama urged Senate Republicans to "rise above the venom and rancor in Washington" and follow the Constitution by not contesting his nominations for Supreme Court justice.
"The Constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now," Obama said during a press conference in California. "When there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the president of the United States is to nominate someone. The Senate is to consider that nomination, and either they disapprove of that nominee or that nominee is elevated to the Supreme Court."
The president continued by chiding Republicans for being "obstructionist" and promising to block candidates no matter how qualified they are:
Now part of the problem we have here is, we've almost gotten accustomed to how obstructionist the Senate's become when it comes to nominations.
This is a measure of how, unfortunately, the venom and rancor in Washington has prevented us from getting basic work done. This would be a good moment to rise above that.
Obama explained that he has 14 nominees that are qualified for the position and said all have been approved by both parties on the Judiciary Committee.
And because the Court is now divided on so many issues, President Obama reminded that "this would be a deciding vote."